Just because the second season of the anime had ended last year doesn’t mean the fandom is fading. For all of us who are still excited for more [K], we’re still getting several After Stories materials, the stage play material, and not to mention, the fanservice thrown for the audience, including the idol materials. Let’s be real, half of the fun for [K] is the abundance of fanservice, and that of course, includes shipping!
With the many pretty boys in [K], we have no shortage of possible BL ships or pairings. Name your favorite dynamic for a BL pairing, [K] probably has one. Here are five of the most popular BL ships in [K] fandom, see if you could find your ship!
5. Munakata Reishi x Fushimi Saruhiko (ReiSaru)
If you’re weak to handsome characters with glasses together, ReiSaru at the first glance would be a straight hit to your heart. They’re the pairing that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also extremely probable, considering Saruhiko is one of Reishi’s clansmen. If you don’t look closely, you might think that their relationship is a simple King and clansman especially because Reishi is an enigma and Saruhiko is a brat to his superiors, but there’s more to it. This was especially proven in Return of Kings, when Reishi trusted Saruhiko to carry the mission to infiltrate the Green Clan. Later, while fleeing from Sukuna’s attacks with Misaki, it was confirmed that to Saruhiko, Reishi is his True King, the one he’d accepted whole-heartedly, and therefore he’d go to the ends of earth for.
Saruhiko might be a brat to his coworkers and superiors, but to Reishi, he’s always had this special respect and patience. On the other hand, Saruhiko is clearly Reishi’s favorite—this is evident from how Reishi would keep an eye on him, speak casually and even tease him at times. While Seri is Reishi’s right hand in Scepter 4, Saruhiko is clearly his left. Reishi trusts Saruhiko to get the work done, and Saruhiko does his best to meet his expectations even with all his grumblings. In one of the audio dramas, Saruhiko also worried at the possibility of Reishi’s losing control over his Sword of Damocles. One heartwarming moment for the ship is at the end of Return of Kings, where Reishi welcomed Saruhiko back, relieved that Saruhiko finished his mission safely.
4. Suoh Mikoto x Totsuka Tatara (MikoTara)
For those who are weak to angsty, tragic BL pairings, there is no doubt you would probably tumble head-first into this ship. It’s an absolute truth that the two closest people to the King of Red, Suoh Mikoto, are Totsuka Tatara and Kusanagi Izumo. Among the three of them, though, Totsuka was the glue—he was the one who stubbornly made his way into Mikoto’s life and made the three of them the core of HOMRA. To Mikoto, Totsuka is special because his power is the one that keeps Mikoto’s in line. Totsuka is the one who convinced Mikoto that his power was not only good for destruction, but to protect people instead
What kicked off all the events in the first season of [K] anime was Totsuka’s death. It was also to avenge Totsuka that Mikoto aimed to kill the Colorless King, choosing death as he does so because without Totsuka there, he’s been worried of accidentally killing people with his power. Even though it was stated in the series that no one understands the loneliness of being a King, Totsuka clearly came close to understand Mikoto’s loneliness, and was able to stay as someone who supports him and HOMRA. Mikoto might come off as a bit cold or off-handed to Totsuka sometimes, but there are times when he showed worry and anger over Totsuka’s injuries such as in episode 6 in the first season, where MikoTara shippers could enjoy ample interactions between the two of them!
The best scenes of MikoTara did not happen in the anime though, they happened in the Memory of Red manga instead, where we could see the stories of HOMRA days before Totsuka’s death. Not that it means there are only happy MikoTara in the manga though, since the manga showed you the aftermath of Totsuka’s death, where Mikoto took Totsuka’s earring, filled it with Totsuka’s blood, and wore it himself. This ship is made of pain, pain, and more pain, but at last in [K] Missing Kings, it was shown that they met in the afterlife and are spending it together!
3. Yatogami Kuroh x Isana Yashiro (KurohShiro)
Here comes the domestic couple of [K] series! Despite their somewhat rocky beginnings where Kuroh intended to kill Shiro, Kuroh and Shiro are pretty much the one ship that is almost taken-for-granted by the fandom. Especially with Kuroh’s loyalty as one of his defining characterization; his dedication for Shiro is pretty much only rivaled by Neko’s. Let’s not lie, one of the reasons why a lot of female audience were pulled in by [K] was thanks to the one scene in the first episode where Shiro blushed after Kuroh inadvertently saved him from HOMRA and gathered him into his arms before they both made their escape.
KurohShiro is also probably the pairing that received the most blatant fanservices in the anime. From their domestic daily life where Kuroh would don an apron to cook for Shiro, Shiro joking over lunch about how Kuroh is his “wife”, to the more heartwarming, if also tearjerking scene of Kuroh dropping on one knee to vow his loyalty to Shiro as a Silver Clansman. In Kuroh and Neko, Shiro found a family he hadn’t had for tens of years. All throughout Missing Kings, Kuroh believed that Shiro would come back to them, never giving up on searching even in the beginning of Return of Kings.
One of the great things going on for KurohShiro shippers is that there is no shortage of Kuroh and Shiro’s official illustrations or merchandise together. From Shiro draping himself over Kuroh’s shoulders as they share earphones or asleep against Kuroh’s arm in yukata, Kuroh scrubbing a blushing Shiro’s back at the onsen, or the extremely teasing blanket merchandise with Shiro on top of Kuroh, pulling at Kuroh’s tie as if about to undress him. The production team does know how to give fanservice.
2. Suoh Mikoto x Munakata Reishi (MikoRei)
Out of all the pairings listed here, MikoRei is perhaps the one with the sexiest, most mature appeal. The elegant, extremely proper and beautiful Blue King, paired with the dangerous, brash, and unbelievably sexy Red King? Half of the dynamic is already almost a BL standard. Not to mention that every single encounter they had is charged with such tension, a result of their interest in one another. After all, if none could understand the loneliness of a King, but another King would understand the same loneliness they bear, right?
It’s difficult to accurately describe how Reishi and Mikoto feels towards one another. While they’re not exactly enemies, they’ve clashed more than several times, though Totsuka once mentioned that they looked as if they were dancing, indicating that both Reishi and Mikoto were enjoying their fight. They definitely weren’t friends, but Reishi showed his concern in his own way in episode 10, and pinned Mikoto to the ground in anger when Mikoto wouldn’t listen to him. After Totsuka’s death, when Mikoto feels that his presence threatens everyone as he might lose control of his powers, he’d purposefully surrendered himself to Scepter 4, a subtle display of trust that Reishi would not let him go berserk.
It was Reishi’s hands that Mikoto trusted his life and death in. He died in Reishi’s arms, stabbed by Reishi’s sword, effectively canceling his Damocles Fall. And even until Return of Kings, we could see that Reishi was still shaken at having to kill a fellow King—a burden that cracked his own Sword of Damocles—and how Reishi remembered Mikoto when Anna reminded him that he was different from Mikoto, even hearing Mikoto’s voice echo telling him that Reishi isn’t acting like himself. Whether they’re friends or enemies, there’s no denying that MikoRei is a ship where they both hold strong feelings towards each other.
1. Fushimi Saruhiko x Yata Misaki (SaruMi)
The one ship that frustrates all of its shippers, but also the one with the most shippers. Does that mean everyone likes to be frustrated? Well, despite the long period of frustration, SaruMi is also the one ship with delicious pull and push between the two characters. The first season of anime revealed that Saruhiko was a traitor to HOMRA, and that he was close to Misaki before defecting to the Blues, a fact that made Misaki hate him, which in turn also excited Saruhiko. The side manga, stories and novels such as Lost Small World, however, elaborated on how close they actually were, how much Saruhiko wanted Misaki’s attention when they were both still in HOMRA, and how much Misaki is hurt over Saruhiko’s betrayal.
SaruMi is a bittersweet ship. It gives you the frustrating love-hate relationship in the anime and movie, but every flashback to Saruhiko and Misaki’s time together before HOMRA also drowns you in cuteness and feels. Think about how Misaki once promised a sick Saruhiko that he’d come if Saruhiko called for him, or how Saruhiko rushes out in panic when his dad teased him that he’d wreck Misaki too. Comparing the happy memories of middle school SaruMi to their relationship in the anime where it’s made of betrayal, hatred, and explosive fights, and yet there were still moments such as one in the movie where Misaki called out to Saruhiko, reaching out for help, and Saruhiko, despite his initial tauntings, still helped him. In the end of Missing Kings movie, we even got to see Misaki stumbled over saying thank you to Saruhiko, which was adorable!
The promise of angst in this ship has enticed so many of shippers. Thankfully, by the end of Return of Kings, Saruhiko and Misaki’s long-standing conflict is somehow resolved—after Reishi telling Misaki that Saruhiko “betrayed’ Scepter 4 under his orders and might be in danger if he were ever found out, Misaki rushed in to save Saruhiko and get him out, putting Saruhiko before HOMRA’s objective for once. In the middle of fighting Sukuna, both Saruhiko and Misaki traded anger and hurtful words, but they were finally able to communicate their feelings and accepted each other. In the end credits, as well as the After Stories released recently, it was shown that Misaki and Saruhiko met up outside of work to visit Misaki’s house, which indicated that they are finally starting to pave their way on making up. After four years of frustration on the shippers’ behalf, SaruMi is finally getting their happy ending.
There were still so many possible BL pairings from the [K] project series. Of course, it’s also a bonus for the shippers that most of the official merchandise released would cater to at least one of the ships listed above. The considerable size of the fandom also means that there’s no shortage of fanfictions nor fanarts out there, which is great for everyone involved. [K] fandom has been going strong ever since the teasers for the first anime first came out in 2012, and as there are still official materials coming out, it seems like it’s not going to die down very soon.
Did you find your ship listed above? Do you think there should be a ship added to the list? Let us know which ship you are in the [K] fandom in the comments!